(Sorry for the short recap, my fellow Stiffs! But I'm hosting an assortment of events this weekend related to the NCAA Women's Final Four happening in Denver and am a bit swamped. More to come over the weekend ...)
Nuggets fans can breathe a little easier tonight knowing that their team can beat the NBA's worst team. (Anyone appreciating the sarcasm?)
The Nuggets were led by their shooting guards tonight, with Arron Afflalo putting up 12 of his 19 points the second half and Corey Brewer contributing 17 points off the bench, enabling the Nuggets to put some distance between themselves and the Bobcats in the third quarter. A quarter that the Nuggets have struggled with all season long it seems.
On the "ewwwww" side of the ledger, three-point shooting continues to dog the Nuggets. Against Charlotte, the Nuggets connected on just two of their 17 attempts. Two! And more alarmingly, the Nuggets were incapable of taking care of the ball, almost doubling their average turnovers per game by giving away 25 possessions tonight.
But give the Nuggets credit in two key areas tonight: rebounding and ball distribution. The Nuggets pulled down 49 rebounds, 5.5 above their average, and dished out 29 assists, also 5.5 above their average. And all this despite not breaking the century mark in scoring. Comparatively, the Bobcats grabbed just 34 team rebounds and dished out 26 assists.
I don't know about you, Nuggets fans, but I can't jump for joy after this victory. The Nuggets continue to struggle as a collective unit and it doesn't seem to matter how bad the opposing team is.
Non-Stiff of the Game
-Arron Afflalo: 19 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Afflalo continues to play well and is (almost) justifying the big contract handed to him in the off-season. Is it possible that Afflalo is finally properly conditioned and we'll reap the the benefits of this until the end of the season?
Stiff of the Game
-Corey Maggette: I noticed in the game thread that a lot of readers thought I jinxed us by naming Maggette a Stiff before the game. But Maggette had another Maggette-esque game: making shots early and then finishing with 12 misses on 18 attempts ... and no defense played throughout.
The Nuggets must find whatever mojo they had in Chicago and recreate it soon, or we'll be resorting to rooting for Western Conference teams to lose just to get Denver into the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.
And on a side note, why were the Bobcats wearing the retro ABA Cougars jerseys but the Nuggets weren't wearing their retro ABA jerseys that we've seen this season?!